Distillerie Aragonesi is the first distillery on the Island of Ischia. The heart of a project founded in 2016, aims to seek and enhance regional traditions of distillation in the Mediterranean, that have almost been lost.
This journey began with the discovery of Figaro, a precious Portuguese fig liqueur made from the fermentation and distillation of Algarvian figs, and continued in Ischia, where it brought back the art of distillation and the use of an ancient fruit: the Carob.
Our project’s name is based on the awareness that without a past there is no present.
The Aragonese, in Southern Italy as in many other regions in the Mediterranean area, from Portugal to the Balkans, have marked our history and their traces still surround us today in our historic centers, in agriculture and in our language.
Thus, the emblem of Distillerie Aragonesi, inspired by the union of Castile and Aragon crowns and reinterpreting the Catholic Kings herald, becomes the new emblem of all the regions of the Mediterranean as well as the symbol of their traditions.
In the last century, social and urban changes in our communities have seen a slow dissipation of local cultures and their identities and traditions are being lost. The disappearance of craftsmanship in the historic centers, which the history and identity of the villages used to be founded and developed on, has been one of the main phenomena of impoverishment of our territory.
For this reason, the first distillery in Ischia rises in the heart of the historic village of Ischia Ponte, near the Aragonese Castle, with an open space production site, and the copper alembic visible from the street.
Housed in a 1700s building built by the Augustinian monks, it hides underneath the ancient cistern, recovered and upgraded to pursue the noblest purpose: the ageing of the wine spirits.
Our liqueurs and spirits find inspiration in our traditions to enhance the terroir of the Island. Despite its insular nature, Ischia developed a deep agricultural tradition thanks to its size, the different microclimates, and the volcanic soil, as represented by its wine production, that in the Eighteenth century saw local wines being exported to Tuscany and even South America. Although there were no distilleries, local people used to distill wine to make a brandy in which they produced their own liquors, by using local fruit.
Having no grain to ferment, the inhabitants used to distill with the alcoholic materials they had available: wine and pomace.
Alcohol distilled from wine, a habit lost about one century ago, was a peculiarity of remarkable importance for Ischia liqueurs, as it determined the organoleptic result and deeply sealed spirit and liqueur production with the agricultural identity of the island.
The choice of distilling wine for the alcoholic base of our liqueurs has therefore made it possible to recover an ancient tradition, the enhancement of our territory and the creation of craft products. The wine spirit base aromas give an extraordinary delicacy, making our liqueurs unique and precious.
The Distillerie Aragonesi research project and the foundation of the first distillery in Ischia arise from the synergies between Alessandro, distiller, and Anna, architect: husband and wife native of Ischia, passionate about history, architecture, traditions and flavours of our “immense” Mediterranean area.
Their story was perfectly described by Discover Campania, from their first encounter with Don Luís in Algarve to the return to their beloved Island.